Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2008 transition / migration to Server Standard 2008 R2

07Mar, 2011

(First appeared here)

This is an action plan from Microsoft tech support.  I’m going to be testing this in my Lab over the next week or so.  I’ll post any significant notes or corrections that I find.

1.       Run ADprep on SBS 2008 with the Windows 2008 R2 disk.

·         Insert the media for Windows Server 2008 R2 into the Small Business Server 2008 server.

·         Browse to the following folder:

·         <DVD drive >:SourcesAdprep> Adprep /forestprep

·         Press C, and then press ENTER. Wait for the process to complete.

·         <DVD drive >:SourcesAdprep>Adprep /domainPrep

·         when this step completes, you should receive a message: “Adprep successfully update the domain-wide Information”

2.       On SBS 2008 ensure that the schema version is updated to 47. Default schema version is 44

·         Goto HKLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesNTDSParametersSchema Version=47

3.       On the Server 2008 R2 assign the network card a Static IP on the same network as Small Business Server 2008.

4.       Set the SBS 2008 server as the primary DNS server and the hardware router as the default gateway.

5.       Set the Windows Server 2008 R2 computer to the correct time zone,

6.       Set the computer name and join it to the SBS 2008 domain as a member server.

7.       Join WS08R2 DC as a secondary domain controller in the SBS 2008 Domain.

·         Click Start and then click Server Manager.

·         In Roles Summary, click Add Roles.

·         If necessary, review the information on the Before You Begin page and then click Next.

·         On the Select Server Roles page, click the Active Directory Domain Services check box, and then click Next.

·         If necessary, review the information on the Active Directory Domain Services page and then click Next.

·         On the Confirm Installation Selections page, click Install.

·         On the Installation Results page, click Close this wizard and launch the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard (dcpromo.exe).

·         On the Welcome to the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard page, click Next.

·         On the Operating System Compatibility page, review the warning about the default security settings for Windows Server 2008 domain controllers and then click Next.

·         On the Choose a Deployment Configuration page, click Existing forest, click Add a domain controller to an existing domain, and then click Next.

·         On the Network Credentials page, type the name of any existing domain in the forest where you plan to install the additional domain controller. Under Specify the account credentials to use to perform the installation, click My current logged on credentials or click Alternate credentials, and then click Set. In the Windows Security dialog box, provide the user name and password for an account that can install the additional domain controller. To install an additional domain controller, you must be a member of the Enterprise Admins group or the Domain Admins group. When you are finished providing credentials, click Next.

·         On the Select a Domain page, select the domain of the new domain controller, and then click Next.

·         On the Select a Site page, select a site from the list or select the option to install the domain controller in the site that corresponds to its IP address, and then click Next.

·         On the Additional Domain Controller Options page, make sure the DNS and Global Catalog is checked, and then click Next:

·         DNS server: This option is selected by default so that your domain controller can function as a DNS server. If you do not want the domain controller to be a DNS server, clear this option.

·         Global Catalog: This option is selected by default. It adds the global catalog, read-only directory partitions to the domain controller, and it enables global catalog search functionality.

·         Read-only domain controller. This option is not selected by default. It makes the additional domain controller read only. (Do not select this option as we need Writeable Copy of Active Directory)

·         If you selected Use advanced mode installation on the Welcome page, the Source Domain Controller page appears. Click Let the wizard choose an appropriate domain controller or click Use this specific domain controller to specify a domain controller that you want to provide as a source for replication to create the new domain controller, and then click Next. If you do not choose to install from media, all data will be replicated from this source domain controller.

·         On the Location for Database, Log Files, and SYSVOL page, type or browse to the volume and folder locations for the database file, the directory service log files, and the system volume (SYSVOL) files, and then click Next.

·         On the Directory Services Restore Mode Administrator Password page, type and confirm the restore mode password, and then click Next. This password must be used to start AD DS in Directory Service Restore Mode for tasks that must be performed offline.

·         On the Summary page, review your selections. Click Back to change any selections, if necessary.

·         To save the settings that you have selected to an answer file that you can use to automate subsequent AD DS operations, click Export settings. Type the name for your answer file, and then click Save.

·         When you are sure that your selections are accurate, click Next to install AD DS.

·         On the Completing the Active Directory Domain Services Installation Wizard page, click Finish.

·         You can either select the Reboot on completion check box to have the server restart automatically or you can restart the server to complete the AD DS installation when you are prompted to do so.


8.       Install Exchange 2007 or Exchange 2010 on same server or different server and  move the mailboxes.

9.       Move the Public folders:

10.   Migrate any data they wish to keep to the new server.

11.   If folder redirection/roaming profiles are configured move that data over to the new server by updating the user account/group policy settings.

12.   Move FSMO roles and GC to WS08R2:;EN-US;255504

13.   Might want to wait a few days to make sure everything remains operational ( you have 21 days from this point)

14.   Uninstall Exchange 2007 from SBS 2008

15.   DCPromo down SBS 2008

16.   Remove SBS 2008 from the network.


  • Alicia Edward3 August 9, 2011 @ 5:36 am

    sbs 2008 is great man

  • Guest August 25, 2011 @ 4:37 am

    How did your testing go?  I’m about to undergo the same migration.

  • Phil Peltier October 27, 2011 @ 9:25 am

    Would this work to movre from a SBS 2003 to A 2008R2 standard ?

  • Mcpcestero December 26, 2011 @ 4:34 am

    Was this a success?

  • guest January 4, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

    Hi, was this successful?

  • Ahmed March 11, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

    I hope this worked ?

  • Shepster01 March 28, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

    has anyone tried the the same steps to migrate to Svr 2008 R2 E… the activation keys I have allow to go to Enterprise, and this is what my employer want… will be testin in VM world first though…

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